Intimate Exchanges is actually a cycle of 16 plays, all of which hinge on a woman’s decision whether or not to have a cigarette. From this moment come two plays, each of which split again at five days later, five weeks later, and five years later. Throughout the plays, the characters follow different fates as they marry, have affairs, argue, tie each other up in sheds, and walk over the edges of cliffs. Few actual changes occur, however, except to Sylvie, the only one who shows true growth as a character. Ayckbourn’s hilarious cycle shows that our simple choices can lead to phenomenal differences, but we seldom truly change who we are.